FERC Rejects State AGs Plea for Project Moratorium During COVID-19 Crisis

From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update #276, May 14, 2020

A May 7 [2020] request by attorneys general of 10 states and the District of Columbia for a moratorium on approvals of all new and pending natural gas pipelines, LNG facilities and related fossil-fuel infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 pandemic has been summarily rejected by the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The AGs’s letter argued that a moratorium is “necessary to preserve the due process rights of interested parties, many of whom are dealing with unprecedented challenges to their health and economic wellbeing from the COVID-19 crisis and whose ability to participate in hearings and proceedings may be accordingly constrained.”

FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee replied on May 12 in a letter to Virginia AG Mark Herring, denying the moratorium request.

Chatterjee said: “Hindering the build-out of energy infrastructure now could have long-term and lasting negative impacts on the delivery of energy in the future. For these reasons, I view requests for a moratorium on energy projects to be short-sighted and impractical. Any step to slow the energy economy is a step in the wrong direction.”